A defiant Perry calls felony indictment a ‘farce’ | Texas Legislature | Ne…

Gov. Rick Perry  (R-Texas)

Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas)

AUSTIN — Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Saturday that the indictment against him was an “outrageous” abuse of power and vowed to fight it.

“This indictment amounts to nothing more than abuse of power and I cannot and will not allow that to happen,” Perry said at a news conference on Saturday.

Perry spoke a day after a grand jury indicted the Republican on two felony counts of abuse of power for making good on a veto threat. He dismissed the prosecution as a “farce.”

A special prosecutor spent months calling witnesses and presenting evidence that Perry broke the law when he promised publicly to veto $7.5 million over two years for the Public Integrity Unit run by the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

Lehmberg, a Democrat, was convicted of drunken driving, but refused Perry’s calls to resign.

The possible 2016 presidential hopeful is dismissing the charges as nakedly political. Perry is the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted.

The governor said he was absolutely correct in seeking Lehmberg’s resignation, and given the chance to do it all over again, he would.

He predicted victory in the courts, and said that ultimately, the people who engineered the indictment will have a price to pay. “Those responsible will be held accountable,” Perry said.

The indictments are related to Perry vetoing funding for a Travis County unit investigating public corruption last year because the Democratic official heading the office refused to resign after being convicted of drunken driving.

The investigative unit is based in Austin, a heavily Democratic city where the grand jury was seated. The rest of Texas is heavily Republican.

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